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Cancer Res. 2004 Oct 15;64(20):7220-5.

Id2 drives differentiation and suppresses tumor formation in the intestinal epithelium.

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  • 1Lombardi Cancer Center, Department of Oncology, Georgetown University, Washington, D. C., USA.


Oncogenic signals elevate expression of Id2 in multiple tumor types. When deregulated, Id2 inactivates the tumor suppressor proteins retinoblastoma, p107, and p130. Here, we report a novel and unexpected tumor inhibitory function of Id2 in the intestinal epithelium. First, genetic ablation of Id2 in the mouse prevents differentiation and cell cycle arrest of enterocytes at the time of formation of the crypt-villus unit. Later, these developmental abnormalities evolve toward neoplastic transformation with complete penetrance. Id2-null tumors contain severe dysplastic and metaplastic lesions and express aberrant amounts of beta-catenin. Thus, our data are the first to establish a direct requirement of basic helix-loop-helix inhibitors in driving differentiation and define an unexpected role for the retinoblastoma-binding protein Id2 in preventing tumor formation.

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